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Cross-country: Canby boys stick together to take first place in Gresham

All five scorers finished within 21 seconds of each other to win the four-team meet Oct. 9.


by: JEFF GOODMAN / FILE - Morgan Webber, shown Oct. 2 at Molalla River State Park, led the Canby boys cross-country team Oct. 9 in Gresham. He placed second behind Reynolds senior Ahmed Ibrahim.After their recent meet at Molalla River State Park, members of the Canby boys cross-country team said they were not satisfied with their collective results.

Their plans to run as a group didn’t last through the end of the race. Their goal of eclipsing Lakeridge wasn’t quite met.

“It wasn’t our best race,” sophomore Quinton Wiltshire said. “We were kind of separated.”

A week later, the Cougars stayed truer to their pack mentality. All five scorers finished within 21 seconds of each other, and they snagged first place as a team Oct. 9 at Gresham High School.

“We’re trying to run as fast as we can and stay as close together as we can, but we’re not having anyone slow down at the front,” coach Tom Millbrooke said. “They ran real well. I like the progress we’re making.”

Canby finished with 22 points in the four-team meet, fending off Reynolds (39) and Gresham (77). The top runners from Portland-Grant (96) sat out the competition.

Reynolds senior Ahmed Ibrahim was in a class of his own, taking the individual boys title with a remarkable time of 16 minutes 3.59 seconds. The former Kennewick (Wash.) Kamiakin runner, who clocked an outstanding 15:28 at a meet last month, crossed the finish line more than 75 seconds before the runner-up in Gresham.

But the Cougars, who are aiming to qualify for the state championships as a team for the first time since 2006, didn’t seem to worry about Ibrahim. They claimed five of the next six spots in the race.

“We went with him for the first mile, but he was ahead and he’s very talented,” Millbrooke said of Ibrahim. “We haven’t seen every 6A runner in the state, but he’d be my pick to be the individual champion.”

Morgan Webber clocked a 17:21.17 to lead Canby, placing second overall. It was the senior’s fourth top-six finish of the season.

Following closely were Steven Cranston (17:26.32) and Wiltshire (17:32.93), who took third and fourth, respectively. The standout sophomores have combined for six top-five finishes this year.

Unable to squeeze ahead of fifth-place Reynolds senior Muhumed Noor, Ethan Patterson and Brendan Seehaver finished 2.20 seconds apart to round out the Cougars’ team score with sixth- and seventh-place times.

“We’re pretty solid,” Millbrooke said. “This team is as good as some of the teams I’ve taken to state, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get to state because of the quality of the competition. Good this year won’t be good enough. We’re gonna have to be better than just good. We’ll have to continue to improve and probably have our best race at districts.”

On the girls side, Hannah Stobie reclaimed her role as Canby’s top finisher after clocking the team’s second-best time Oct. 2. The junior ran a 22:34.78 to place 10th overall, her best individual finish of the season.

Cougars sophomore Ginny Link (22:57.13), senior Sarah Dietrich (23:27.10) and freshmen Shailynn Hestand  (23:41.47) and Karley Pierson (24:11.55) rounded out the team’s scoring.

“Five of the seven girls who ran (in the varsity race) have never run cross-country before this year, so I’m really pleased with the progress that we’ve made,” Millbrooke said.

Canby’s girls tallied 71 points to take third behind Reynolds (24) and Gresham (45). Gresham senior Jacelyn Davis won the individual title in 20:47.21.

The Cougars are scheduled to compete Oct. 16 at Lake Oswego Middle School in their final meet before the Three Rivers League district championships, which will be held Oct. 23.

***

AT A GLANCE

Oct. 9 at Gresham High School

BOYS (team scores): 1. Canby, 22; 2. Reynolds, 39; 3. Gresham, 77; 4. Grant, 96.

Canby (top five): 2. Morgan Webber, 17:21.17; 3. Steven Cranston, 17:26.32; 4. Quinton Wiltshire, 17:32.93; 6. Ethan Patterson, 17:39.18; 7. Brendan Seehaver, 17:41.38.

GIRLS (team scores): 1. Reynolds, 24; 2. Gresham, 45; 3. Canby, 71; 4. Grant, 98.

Canby (top five): 10. Hannah Stobie, 22:34.78; 13. Ginny Link, 22:57.13; 15. Sarah Dietrich, 23:27.10; 16. Shailynn Hestand, 23:41.47; 21. Karley Pierson, 24:11.55.



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